Awards & Scholarships

Hosting a Mock Award Discussion with Kids

The end of the year is approaching. For me, that means skyrocketing speculation about the Youth Media Awards (YMAs), which include the Newbery, Caldecott. I love pouring over year-end best of lists and reading as many 2017 books as I can. Another reason I look forward to this time of year: I love a good mock award discussion. For this blog, I’ll focus on different ways to host a mock award with school-age kids (for more on the benefits of hosting a blog for your colleagues, check out Amanda Foulk’s stellar post on Guessing Geisel).

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

School Age Summer Program Inspos!

The School Age Programs and Services Committee is chock-full of School Age program geniuses. Want some inspiration for next summer? Read on! Denver Public Library – Amy Seto-Forrester We’re super excited about our weekly Factologists program. We’re focusing on a different nonfiction theme based around a book each week with different stations for kids to drop in and do. For instance, this Wednesday the theme is Super Sniffers, based around the book of the same name by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent. Stations will include scent identification (smelling mystery scents in cover dixie cups, things like vanilla, garlic, banana, lavender, etc.), a scent scavenger hunt (kids will be given a scent to track and a clue to follow. At each location they’ll find two clues attached to two scents. They must determine follow their tracking scent to complete the scavenger hunt or they’ll end up at a dead end), scat identification, and…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Taking STEAM Programs On The Road

Early this year, I learned that my library was one of the lucky recipients of an ALSC & Dollar General Literacy Foundation “Strengthening Communities Through Libraries” grant. We used the funds to create STEAM programming kits to be used alone or in different combinations for outreach programs. Our vision was to take these kits into after-school care sites serving disadvantaged populations and deliver the same type of STEAM programs we would at the library. We put out feelers to multiple sites, asking if we could come once per month to deliver a program. We thought that we would be lucky to get our foot in the door at a couple of places. In reality, we got ten enthusiastic “yes, please come” replies within days. And that’s how we ended up doing fifty extra STEAM programs that reached hundreds of kids in just five months. Every month, we developed a basic…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Book Discussions for the Primary Grades

School-age book clubs in libraries are nothing new. They’ve been a staple of public library youth programs for decades. However, they are usually geared towards youth in middle grades and rarely include extension activities. Students in primary grades fall into a gap: they’re past storytime, but not ready for chapter book discussions. How do we bridge this gap?  One way is to form a book discussion group for younger readers. For the past 12 years, I’ve conducted a monthly beginners’ level book discussion for students in grades Kindergarten through Second grade. We usually read a picture book, but have also read graphic novels and shorter chapter books. The kids don’t read the books before we meet – we read the book together. The hour long program has two parts. The first half hour is dedicated to reading and discussing the book. In the second half of the program we do…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Think Spring? Think Books!

March…how did that happen?!?  2017 seems to be passing with ever more speed.  With much of the country enjoying warm temperatures recently, we can all hope that spring comes quickly. When winter finally leaves, my thoughts turn to BookExpo 2017, which will be held in New York City at the Javits Center, from Wednesday, May 31 – Friday, June 2. If you are not familiar with BookExpo, it bills itself as the #1 book and author event in the United States.  Many ALA members attend the event in addition to ALA Annual, as the authors in attendance and books promoted at each are not the same…especially the authors! If you do go to BookExpo 2017, here are a few thoughts and tips based on my experiences that I hope you will find helpful: I encounter a lot people who work outside the library world at BookExpo, including non-profit workers, educators and…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Get Involved With Collaborative Summer Library Program

          Do you know any children’s librarians who don’t have a summer reading/learning program? I know I don’t. Summer reading and learning programs are a major aspect of most youth librarians’ work. There are many other additional responsibilities that are a part of our job, I encourage you to use the resources of Collaborative Summer Library Program. This organization of member state libraries produces a wealth of information to make your planning and administration of summer reading/learning less challenging.

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

FLP Book Bike

Over the past year, my role with the Free Library has changed a bit. I had a baby and moved from West Philadelphia to a different branch in South Philly to be closer to home and my son. I started working with a younger demographic and started thinking more comprehensively about library outreach. One of the benefits of moving to a different branch is serving fresh new set of patrons in a different environment and responding/adapting to the challenges that come with a new place. While working in West Philly, I always kicked the around the idea of a mobile library in my head, not in a bookmobile form, but something more low tech, with a minimal footprint that could be easily sustainable. One of my mentors at the Free Library described how he used to roll a book cart up and down Ridge Avenue to get those books into…